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More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Gregory Middleton Jr.

Graduation year: 2020

High school: North High School

Hometown: Davenport, Iowa 

Major: Biology

Minor: Biochemistry

Activities: Men's Bowling Club, Augustana Car Club

Post-grad plans: Graduate school to get a master's in insect development

Why Augustana?    

I came to Augustana mostly because my older sister loved it, and when I came for a tour, I loved the beauty of the campus, how small the community was and how I was still close to home.

Are you where you thought you'd be when you first came to campus?   

No, I definitely accomplished more than I expected, and I definitely wasn't planning to minor in biochemistry! (Even though my general chemistry professor suggested that I be a biochemistry major.) And I also didn't expect to do research starting in my first year and building upon it to be able to present it at a national convention my senior year.

Who helped you get to where you are now?  

Dr. Tierney Brosius, my advisor, helped me tremendously. She guided me on what classes to take and suggested the research project in the first place! And she helped me get to know her friends in the Entomology Society of America at the national meeting where I got to present our research project.

My parents always encouraged me and helped pay for college so of course they are my biggest supporters in getting me to where I am now. And the Lord has blessed me in so many countless ways to give me this opportunity to be here.

Peak experience?    

My peak experience was going to the Entomology Society of America conference and interacting with other entomologists from around the world! It was way beyond my wildest dreams.

What surprised you?  

The fact that I got to present my own research project, which I never thought I'd be able to do as an undergraduate. Also being a biochemistry minor shocked me, too.

How did you use your Augie Choice?  

I actually didn't use my Augie Choice. The LSAMP Grant helped in all the research funding as well as travel expenses when I went to the Entomology Society of America meeting.

What will you miss the most?    

The friends that I've made and the amazing professors who really cared for my well-being and success. I'm not saying that they all did, but for those that did, I will miss them. And I wish all my friends the best on their endeavors, but I will miss them dearly.

Advice for the Class of 2024?    

Try new things, whether it's a club or sport, and talk to people who share your interests, including professors. My most treasured experiences are from stepping out and trying things that I enjoyed. I'm an introvert and get bad anxiety when going to social events, but I knew I'd be sad if I didn't go.

"Greg came to me his first semester at Augustana with an interest in entomology. That drive to go after what he wanted right away helped him get some really awesome opportunities while at Augustana. I think his greatest accomplishment while he was here was presenting his research at a large research conference with almost 4,000 other scientists. It is a really wonderful accomplishment for an undergraduate student to make it to a national scientific meeting."

– Dr. Tierney Brosius, assistant professor, biology